(Indian Rocks Beach, FL)
My first experience with a cat was accidentally closing the door on its tail when I was six years old. Every time that cat saw me it would hiss and spit and scare the daylights out of me.
Cats? No thank you!
I considered myself a 'dog person' right up until I got divorced at 35 years old. My decision to divorce and move into an apartment was very traumatic and quite lonely.
I was working long hours as a retail manager during the holiday season and missed the companionship of my dogs, but knew they were way too demanding for my busy schedule.
On a rare day off I was on my way to the shopping center when I saw that the local chain pet store was holding on-site adoptions from the no-kill shelter.
I was attracted to a cat with a pair of beautiful blue eyes and the way he seemed to be sizing me up - "is that lady worthy of me?"
That was thirteen years ago. My life has never been the same since the day I adopted Sushi.
I went home with a cat, a carrier, food, toys, catnip, litterbox - you get the idea - but the smartest thing I purchased that day was a book entitled Cats for Dummies.
Boy, did I need it! The only thing I knew about cats was that they didn't like me.
Due to an infection from his surgery at the shelter, I spent the first week chasing him around the house trying to squirt medicine in his mouth. Talk about flashbacks!
Over the next few years we settled into a routine as he taught me what he liked (being brushed, treats, catnip) and I learned a few painful lessons concerning what he disliked (being picked up without 'permission' and anything to do with the car!)
Over the years we've moved a few times and I always consider his happiness first. He loves to chase birds, lizards and butterflies, so a fenced-in yard was mandatory.
Last year I decided that Sushi needed a companion, and once again he taught me a painful lesson.
He did not approve of his little 'sister' and let me know this every single day for six long months. Then a miracle happened. I was able to snap this picture of them together for the first time ever!
Times have definitely changed, now the three of us take Saturday afternoon catnaps, play in the garden and cuddle as often as possible.
Needless to say, thirteen years later I still haven't met a man I would trade for my cat.
Sushi, you are my greatest joy!
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